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Worse than Wrong: A Voice for Men resorts to phony screenshot and outright lying to avoid admitting embarrassing error [CORRECTED]

liar

CORRECTION: New evidence suggests that the screenshot discussed in this post and elsewhere was not a forgery but the result of a glitch. I offer a correction, and an apology, and a discussion of the implications, here. I have left the text of this piece as is.

When reputable publications, online or off, make a mistake, the editors grit their teeth, swallow their embarrassment, and run a correction. [EDIT: I’ve even got a little one at the end of this post!]

Men’s Rights hate hub A Voice for Men has somewhat more lax standards than reputable publications, or even not-so-reputable publications, and generally prefers to deal with its errors by pretending they never happened. But sometimes the errors are so obvious, even to their own somewhat credulous readers, that they have to acknowledge them in some form.

In the case of one egregious recent error AVFM has tried something a bit more audacious: resorting to a phony screenshot and outright lies in an attempt to prove that they were right all along.

Sorry, dudes, but you’re not going to get away with it. You guys are so grossly incompetent you can’t even lie convincingly.

You may recall the post I ran the other day about A Voice for Men’s bizarre claim that search engines were somehow hiding articles and resources related to violence against men from intrepid web searchers? Indeed, the post in question on AVFM asked readers to

try typing into a search engine the phrase “violence against men.” You will get scores of pages linking to articles and information regarding violence against women.

As I pointed out, and as everyone else who tried this experiment noticed as well, this is not actually true: typing in the phrase “violence against men” into Google or Bing gets you lots of links related to …. violence against men. A few intrepid Googlers even pointed this out in the comments on AVFM.

So what has AVFM done? Well, here’s how Dean Esmay, AVFM’s so-called “managing editor” Dean Esmay responded in the comments to one reader suggesting that a correction might be in order.

deanesmay

Did you follow any of that? I had to read it several times, but Esmay seems to be suggesting that someone at Google read the post on AVFM and adjusted Google’s search algorothim so that searches for information on “violence against men” would in fact return information on “violence against men.”

In other words, AVFM didn’t make a mistake. It made the world a better place!

You should also note that Esmay’s confession that he had no screenshots to back up his claims.

By the time he got around to writing a little “Editorial Update,” however, he was a bit less tentative about tooting AVFM’s horn — and he also managed to somehow conjure up a screenshot that conveniently seemed to prove his point.

deanesmay2

There’s just one problem. The screenshot is an obvious fake. Here’s the link to it on AVFM’s server.

But I’m pasting it here as well.

Violence-Against-Men-Medium

Now, at first glance, this seems to prove his point. The searcher here seems to have searched for “violence against men” and gotten results dealing with “violence against women.”

But look again at the additional results listed at the bottom of the screenshot: “News for violence against,” and “Searches related to violence against.”

That was the actual search term used. “Violence against,” not “Violence against men.”

Had he really searched for “violence against men” the additional results at the bottom would be listed under the headings “News for violence against men,” and “Searches related to violence against men.” Test this for yourself if you want.

In other words, someone involved with AVFM — Esmay himself? — did a Google search for “violence against,” got the results, and then typed in the word “men” in the search box before taking a screenshot to make it look like the original search was for “violence against men.”

I just did my own search for “violence against” (without the word men, and without quotes) and these are the top results. Look familiar?

violence against - Google SearchCropped

Yeah, so familiar THAT EVEN THE TOP TWO NEWS STORIES THAT COME UP ARE THE SAME.

Here’s the top news story linked to in AVFM’s faked screenshot — and in the one I just made.

You’ll notice that it was posted on June 13th. That is, the day AFTER the AVFM story went up, not “before press,” as Esmay claims.

In other words, Dean Esmay (or whoever concocted this forgery and gave it to Esmay) didn’t make this screenshot before the AVFM story went up.

The AVFM forger did a search yesterday, using the search term “violence against,” then typed in the word “men” after getting the search results but before taking the screenshot, to make it look like he was searching for the term “violence against men.”

All so AVFM wouldn’t have to admit it had made a mistake, and acknowledge that Esmay, as “managing editor,” had fucked up royally by letting a story be published without doing even the most rudimentary bit of fact-checking of the story’s central premise.

Put a fork in it, A Voice for Men. Your credibility is done. Burned to a crisp.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, you can use the AVFM Google forgery technique here to make it look like searching for, say, “violence against marmosets who enjoy soup” returns a bunch of results about violence against women — just so long as you don’t pay attention to the highlighted words in the search results.

violencemaremosets

I mean, once you start blatantly forging evidence, you can pretty much “prove” anything your audience is gullible enough to believe.

Too bad for A Voice for Men that the rest of us aren’t quite so gullible.

EDITED TO ADD: This story just gets stranger and stranger. I’ve just checked the blog where the AVFM post originally ran. The author of that post — who calls himself funkymunkyluvn, and who has been identified on AVFM as both Jason Gregory and Jason Thompson —  has now completely rewritten his original post and changed his central claim to this one:

try typing into a search engine the phrase “violence against.” You will get scores of pages linking to articles and information regarding violence against women.

This claim, unlike his original one, is true. And this time he provides screenshots to prove it. Here’s one of them — click for a larger version. Look at the top ten results on the left. Do they look familiar to you?

violence-against-1-medium

Yep, right on down to that Guardian article.

Unfortunately, while correcting his original article — and happily not resorting to AVFM style screenshot fraud — Mr. MunkyLuvn/Gregory/Thompson/? has not acknowledged his original error. He’s essentially pretending that he never made his original mistake. Which isn’t going to work any better than AVFM’s forgery, as his original article is still available on AVFM, and (at least for now) in Google cache.

You’ve gotta fess up, dude. That’s how it’s done.

But at least I now have a reasonably convincing — to me — theory as to how the original mistake got made, and here it is: Mr. MunkyLuvn/Gregory/Thompson/? did a search for “violence against” and got results similar to what he got in the screenshot above. But perhaps he didn’t get around to writing his blog post right away, and by the time he wrote it, he unthinkingly and incorrectly added the word “men” when describing what he’d searched for. He never bothered to recheck, and no one at AVFM did either.

Now he’s trying to pretend he never made this mistake. That’s deceptive — but not as deceptive as actually forging evidence in an attempt to pretend you were never wrong.

EDIT AGAIN: Ok, this is just getting weirder. I assumed that AVFM was no longer referring to the author of the original post as Jason Gregory and was now referring to him as Jason Thompson. But that’s not true. They actually seem to be different people.  Jason Gregory’s profile links to his blog, and to AVFM’s Jason Gregory’s page, but it DOESN’T link to his “violence against men” post. Jason Thompson’s profile doesn’t link to that blog, but to this non-existent page instead, but the Jason Thompson author page DOES link to Jason Gregory’s “violence against men” post, now bylined “Jason Thompson.”

I actually think this is some sort of glitch and not anything devious, but jeez, guys, get your act together.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article, and its headline, referred to AVFM’s phony “screenshots,” plural. There was just the one.

See, corrections aren’t so hard!

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cloudiah
7 years ago

katz, OMG Violet is a cute kitty. I finally met the kitty you fostered that my coworker adopted. SO f-ing sweet. And apparently the coworker’s previous cat has decided she’s okay too, and they’re getting along pretty well now.

I still am held captive by a sleeping cat. She’s snoring. It’s adorkable.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

OMG the Violetcuteness! It is too much!

cloudiah, you obvs need to learn to sleep in whatever position is most comfortable for the cat. Otherwise you may eventually be tempted to move, and that is failing in your duty to her. You may think moving her to a soft comfy chair/cushion/bed is an acceptable substitute, but be assured, it isn’t, and the Furrinati will know.

Magpie
Magpie
7 years ago

Joining in the de-lurking. Hi everyone!
Correct time to snuggle up to human and purr is get-up-for-work-time.
Correct time to play chasies with rabbit up and down the hallway is 2am.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Hiya, Magpie! How’s your weekend been?

Correct time to demand human play chasey round the lounge is breakfast-on-a-workday-time.

Correct time to settle in on human’s lap is when they were about to go to the loo.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Totally OT as ever, I just had a bit of fun playing with photoshopping a very blurred photograph to make a snapshot-type portrait of Mr K. I’m quite pleased with the result. 🙂

Magpie
Magpie
7 years ago

Correct time to knead with the claws in when sitting on humans lap while human sits on the loo.

That is a nice photo of Mr K. He looks like the life of th party.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Thank ‘ee!

Yup, loo-kneading is the absolute optimum. If that’s not available, any time when the human’s legs are unprotected will do – when they’re wearing shorts, thin clothes, pajamas, and so on.

Fribs has decided that the best spot to stick her claws is my kneecaps. Thin skin, extreme pain. Mum’s taken to putting a small sheepskin rug on her legs when Fribs arrives for her morning lap nap.

daintydougal
daintydougal
7 years ago

Black cat white clothes – I demand snuggles!

Black cat black clothes – meh

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Cat with white belly fur, dark clothes – I demand snuggles!

carnation
carnation
7 years ago

I’m challenging an MRA to acknowledge this and other lies on Ally Fogg’s blog at the moment, if anyone wants to have a look:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/06/06/malestrom-ten-reasons-why-some-men-are-so-angry/#comment-3039

Athywren
Athywren
7 years ago

@auggz

kristine: I don’t think most MRAs have social skills. I don’t mean just an awkwardness, but being narcissistic and not caring if they’re making someone else really really uncomfortable.

I cannot believe I missed this… so many times talking about things like this (mostly about how having some kind of behavioural policy at conventions is PURE EVIL!!!) I’ve been told that caring about making people feel uncomfortable is irrational. I guess I always assumed it was because they were thinking about how religious people, at least those who partake in debate (read: mostly name calling with discussion wheaties for added flavour) with atheists tend to be made uncomfortable by being in the presence of people who question even the existence of their god, and were assuming that this was the sort of thing being complained about. Rather than, you know, being treated as less than human because boobiez.
I wonder if there’s some way to tell which are making that mistake, and how many are just arguing for sociopathy?

Like I thought Obama’s healthcare bill was a good thing, but I just thought it was unconstitutional, so I opposed it. But pretty much every other objectivist felt that the bill would cause the USA to fucking collapse.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE DEATH PANELS!?!??!??!?!?!?!!!!??!?!?!??!?!!?!?!!??!!!???!?!
<>
*cough*

@ashley

OT: i don’t know if you guys have seen this yet yet, but one of the MRAs featured on manboobz, Tom Martin, is making a documentary about why women are less funny. he’s filming it in august and he has an ad up on gumtree looking for a film crew.

http://www.gumtree.com/p/jobs/funnier-women-revolutionary-documentary-film-project-launch-and-crew-call/1021439774

oh, and the hypothesis he is seeking to prove about why women are less funny is that it’s because we are gold-diggers, of course.

Well, spending your time down in mines does tend to alter your sense of humour, leading the general population to relate less to your humour and so see you as less funny. It’s pretty obvious, really.
Seriously though, women are less funny on average, from their point of view, because they can’t relate. It’s like how I can’t stand Chubby Brown’s comedy but he’s hilarious to MRAs and other small-minded peeps. You need the right mentality to “get it.”

Michael Eriksson
7 years ago

In all fairness, Google (and some other search engines) are so keen on guessing what the user possibly wanted to search for that they often deliver results incompatible with what the user _did_ search for. Scenarios at least analogous to replacing “men” with “women” when doing the search are not uncommon—and I am regularly frustrated to the point of explosion by Google.

This has nothing to do with misandrism, but (if it has occurred) is a side-effect of an unfortunate generic mechanism. I could understand very well, however, if someone innocently misinterpreted the results.

(To take a specific example: I once wanted to search for “user mode linux”, commonly abbreviated as “UML”. Knowing that a more common meaning of that abbreviation was “unified modeling language”, I typed the full name to ensure that I did not see my search results polluted. However, almost all results on the first page where still for the other meaning…)

branston
branston
7 years ago

well, just to jump on the bandwagon I will de-lurk also 🙂 I am really keen on the idea of groups that work to improve the situation for men. I have always felt (having come from an abusive background) that the support system for men is weaker, whereas help was readily available for me. I felt my male siblings had a much harder time of it, after the fact. I dismayed to see instead of working towards improving the support for men, websites that are gloating over suffering that happens to women. While there are probably reasonable and kind MRAs around, their voices are downed out by those who are not 🙁 When I found David’s site and all your comments, it was a breath of fresh air. I needed reminding that most people don’t think that way! I’ve enjoyed my lurking and don’t really bother with the MRA sites any more, other than what I read here. Thanks guys 🙂

auggziliary
7 years ago

AK, yeah I am Auggziliary, Auggz, and Auggie. I’m not sure why my gravitar does this.

I could write a book on horrible things objectivists do.

charlotte
charlotte
7 years ago

Does anyone else feel bad that these guys are seriously doing a disservice to legitimate Men’s Issues by sucking so hard at everything?

leftwingfox
7 years ago

Fribs has decided that the best spot to stick her claws is my kneecaps.

Yeah. The favourite of my cats is the upper thigh through the chair arm. D:

grumpycatisagirl
7 years ago

“Does anyone else feel bad that these guys are seriously doing a disservice to legitimate Men’s Issues by sucking so hard at everything?”

Yes.

Athywren
Athywren
7 years ago

Does anyone else feel bad that these guys are seriously doing a disservice to legitimate Men’s Issues by sucking so hard at everything?

Feel bad? It enrages me. They want to tackle men’s issues by standing in direct opposition to the only movement that is actually attempting to tackle the causes of most of those issues? It’s like those environmentalists who oppose wind turbines and nuclear power. Rather than making things better for men, they standing in the way of making things better for everyone. Rargh.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

I don’t think of the MRM as having anything to do with issues that are actually a problem for men. They’re just reactionary assholes who hate women.

grumpycatisagirl
7 years ago

“oh, and the hypothesis he is seeking to prove about why women are less funny is that it’s because we are gold-diggers, of course.”

This is the guy that AfvM peeps thought was too feminist! LOL. He is pretty funny, I’ll give him that.

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

I’m more of a bird person, or primate, but I just keep birds since primates can be very unpredictable pets.

Another bird person?! I love birds! 😀 Especially water fowl. (haven’t had any as pets, but they are soooooooo cuuuttteee!!! So I’m kinda a bird-fangirl).

@melody

So, much of this. I’ve had men who were acting aggressive and yelling at me get their feelings hurt because I was scared of them. They apparently thought it was obvious that they weren’t going to hit me.

Ick 🙁 Jedi hugs if you want. I (so far) haven’t had the misfortune of running into those kind of guys, but they sound terrible.

@katz

XTREME CUTE CLOSE-UP of Violet!

She has such a cute kitty face! 😀

And hi to all who are delurking. 😀 I feel like I haven’t done a good job keeping track of everyone who’s been doing so in this thread. ::wears cone of shame::

Radical Parrot
7 years ago

To be honest, I don’t think they’re damaging anything regarding real men’s issues. Facts tend to stand or fall on their own merit. Domestic violence affecting men? Prison rape? Other violence perpetruated by the disgusting belief that men are savage creatures by nature, and that it’s a good thing? All too real, and feminism has been fighting those for a very long time. The MRAs are trying to enforce the status quo with their “feminists don’t let men be men” bullshit, but the real misogynistic nature of their “movement” is becoming more and more apparent to anyone who bothers to think about it for a second.

Entitled jackasses not getting laid as often as they’d like? Douchesacks not being allowed their own personal domestic slaves? Assholes being called out on their misogynistic jokes and gendered hate speech? No human rights issues. And yeah, once again, it is not really possible to be a human rights movement while opposing the things feminists do. It doesn’t work that way. Maybe we will eventually see a new men’s movement, but one that fights toxic masculinity together with feminism. One can only hope.

auggziliary
7 years ago

I do hate how they’ve created a stigma. They’re like those people with “hetero pride” or “white pride”. They aren’t actually proud of being white and straight. They just think being hetero means that it’s OK to be totally disgusted with homosexuals, and cry “HETEROPHOBIA” whenever anyone tells them to stop being a jackass. The white pride people don’t actually have any interest in European culture. They just whine about immigrants and interracial marriages causing white “genocide”.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

And no, I don’t think the existence of the MRM devalues or taints actual men’s issues. People who actually care about an issue aren’t going to stop caring about it because someone else who was talking about it was being an asshole.

auggziliary
7 years ago

Basically they have absolutely nothing to do with actual men’s issues. They just think that hating women is a men’s issue.

Malitia
Malitia
7 years ago

I had this great business idea of selling t-shirts with captions like “I’m stupid”, “I’m with stupid” etc. (I actually wrote some more elaborate, rhyming ones too… I blame alcohol) in the local “runic” alphabet, which our fringe right (“More-Hungarian-than-Thou” types) loves… just to test how many can actually read it. But then I realized that I’m not brave enough to actually do it, so I admit being a coward. /o

The Black Fedora
The Black Fedora
7 years ago

The latest article.

1. David finds an article in AVFM that he agrees is correct.
2. David recalls seeing a previous article that contained a typo.
3. David cannot prove the previous version ever existed.

..clearly a slow news day in manboobz land.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

I had a tee that read “You’ll never see the likes of me again” in Gaelic – at least, that’s what it was supposed to say … :/

Faint Praise
Faint Praise
7 years ago

> (I actually checked every time before putting in each reference to it in my posts.)

Thanks for being a responsible journalist! I only saw the link and assumed it was up.

Also, coincidence? TyphonBlue in /r/MensRights was “defending” the decision to have this manifesto under Activism about a week ago.

http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/1fkmnh/thewoolybumblebee_apparently_leaves_avfm_due_to/cabs7s0

Flora
Flora
7 years ago

Have a cute photo of my 13 week old puppy instead.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Flora, so much cute! Zie’s adorable. That face!

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

I, as usual, have nothing to add as you have said it all and I have 2 sick daughters draped on me, coughing. So here is a picture of my rescued stray,Lola inching her way into Molly’s good books

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

Aw poop. Will try again, hang on…

Kittehserf
7 years ago

The link comes up as file not found, BigMomma! 🙁

Sorry your girls are sick – there seems to be a fair bit of the lurgy going around NSW at the moment, going by some of the other Oz sites I’ve been reading over the weekend.

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago
BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

Bah, I’m posting using an imgur beta app on my phone. This may be the problem. My eldest has a nasty cough that almost sounds like a whoop. Watching her carefully.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Geez, I hope it doesn’t get worse. Colds seem to hit the chest so much more, now.

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

grrrrrr, now it turns out the file is corrupt. Maybe this is an insidious attack to stop posting pics of kitties. I will not be beaten…. Molly and 8 month old Lola vs Lola, at 6 weeks

/sits back and crosses fingers, legs and toes

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

far out. I give up and will stop spamming the thread until I figure out the problem.

Carry on the good work.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

The Furrinati are conspiring against you! They are not permitting their cuteness to be seen! (Silly of them, they should be mushin’ up more humans’ brains with their adorableness.)

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

Molly and Lola (8months) and for comparison, Lola at 6 weeks…

I keep saying I’m giving up but Molly is eyeing me from my bed, impelling me onwards.

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

oh for gods sake, i’m bored of myself now. SORRY.

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Don’t apologise to me, BigMomma, I wanna see pictures of cuteness! 🙂

Kittehserf
7 years ago

Since we have a stalled Cuteness here, I’ll supply one (1) Katie, aged about four months. Be warned, near-terminal cute levels.

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

Lola at 6 weeks, just after being found

(I am being aided in my aaaargh with imgur by Kitteh, and Molly has stepped up her campaign by sitting on my lap and clawing my knees)

grumpycatisagirlr
7 years ago

LOL. David made a big deal about a typo. That’s all this is.

OK now I’m glad BF wasn’t banned completely. That made my day.

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay….and now, as she tries to win snooty Molly’s affections… 3yr old snooty Molly and 8 month old Lola

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

cuteness overload.

(may be pushing myself too far)